February 18, 2007

2005 St. Innocent Vitae Springs Vineyard Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Part two of our St. Innocent double header, and the takeaway here is that Mark Vlossak makes fantastic Pinot Gris, a varietal that I feel is too often overlooked. We reviewed the Adelsheim Pinot Gris earlier, another winery in the Willamette Valley, and the point I made then is how terrific a food wine Pinot Gris really is, and that it sits between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

The style of this wine is focused on the fruit. St. Innocent does not barrel age the Vitae Pinot Gris so as to emphasize the incredible fruit that comes from their low yield vineyard. The nose is full of pear, honeysuckle and a little orange peal. It has a dry sweetness to it that draws you in and on the palate there is really nice round fruit with pear, lemony citrus, vanilla and a spiced fruit quality. It is a very dry wine, but incredibly sophisticated and though it finishes cleanly, the roundness and richness of the fruit lingers on your palate. There is great structure and enough acidity here to pair this wine with spicier foods, and I could see having this with a Szechuan seafood dish or with a spicy fish or chicken preparation. This Pinot Gris would be an excellent white staple wine for your cellar, and we plan to enjoy more of it on the patio this summer.

cost - $17.00

winecommando rating (1-10) - 8.5

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